June 11, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Finishing his career as the leading rebounder in Michigan State history, Draymond Green is the first men's basketball player to win the George Alderton Award since Mateen Cleaves in 2000. Presented to MSU's top male athlete, the award was voted on by a panel of administrators and head coaches.
The 2012 NABC Division I National Player of the Year, he became MSU's first consensus first-team All-American since Cleaves did it in 1999, and just the fourth in school history, also joining Earvin "Magic" Johnson (1979) and Shawn Respert (1995). Green joins Scott Skiles (1986-Basketball Times) and Respert (1995-NABC and Sporting News) as the only Spartans to ever earn National Player of the Year honors.
"I'm honored to win the George Alderton Award, especially in a year where there were so many other worthy candidates," said Green. "Players like Kirk Cousins, B.J. Cunningham, Jerel Worthy and Torey Krug could all just as easily have won this award. They all had great seasons and are great representatives of Michigan State University. We have such a well-rounded University and athletic department, which makes this a very tough honor to accomplish.
"To be the first basketball player since Mateen Cleaves to win the award makes it extra special. He's one of the great players in Spartan basketball history and one that I looked up to while I was growing up and still do today.
"Being a Spartan was a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid. I'm proud to say `I am a Spartan,' and that will continue long after I've left Michigan State. I have to thank God, my coaching staff and my teammates for putting me in a position and helping me achieve this great accomplishment."
The 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward earned First-Team All-America honors from the Associated Press, The Sporting News, United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), the Wooden Award, CBSSports.com and the NABC. He also was named Big Ten Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament, and earned a spot on the NCAA West Regional All-Tournament Team.
The Saginaw, Mich., native led the Spartans in scoring (16.2 ppg), rebounding (10.6 rpg), steals (54), and 3-point field goals (52), while ranking second in assists (3.8 apg) and blocks (36). On the season, he led MSU in rebounding in 31 of 37 games, including 16 of the 18 Big Ten contests.
In addition to finishing his career as MSU's all-time leading rebounder (1,096), he ranked 17th in career scoring (1,517 points), second in career blocks (117), second in career steals (180) and tied for the career lead with 145 games played. He also finished just 27 assists shy of breaking into the Top 10. He joins Greg Kelser and Johnny Green as the only players in Michigan State history to record 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 points in their careers.
On the season, Green ranked third in the nation with 22 double-doubles and ninth in rebounding (10.6 rpg). He finished the year with seven games of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, tying Ohio State's Evan Turner (2009-10) for the most by a player from a power six conference since 1996-97. He also became the first player from a power six conference to average 15 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists in a season since Tim Duncan accomplished the feat in 1996-97.
"This is a great honor for Draymond, especially when you consider some of the other deserving candidates," MSU head basketball coach Tom Izzo said. "I know this is one award that will have special meaning for Draymond because of the great pride he takes in being a Spartan. Obviously, his accomplishments on the court and the way he led our team this season speaks for itself, but the way he cared about the entire athletic department and the university in general speaks to his love for this place. He put in a lot of time watching the different sports across campus, even helping some of them recruit.
"As a basketball player, Draymond got better each and every year. He worked hard on improving his decision making, his body and his versatile skill set. Most importantly, he developed into one of the best leaders in the game. Like so many of the great players before him, winning was always his first priority. His own individual stats and honors always came second, and that's why as a coach you enjoy watching him get what he deserves."
PAST WINNERS - ALDERTON MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
2011-Greg Jones (football); 2010-Greg Jones (football); 2009-Franklin Gomez (wrestling); 2008-Jeff Lerg (hockey); 2007-Jeff Lerg (hockey); 2006-Brad Gebauer (track and field); 2005-Nick Simmons (wrestling); 2004-Jeff Smoker (football); 2003-Charles Rogers (football); 2002-Paul Terek (track and field); 2001-Ryan Miller (hockey); 2000-Mateen Cleaves (basketball); 1999-Mateen Cleaves (basketball) and Mike York (hockey); 1998-Chad Alban (hockey); 1997-Reid Friedrichs (soccer); 1996-David Morgan (wrestling); 1995-Shawn Respert (basketball); 1994-Emilio Collins (wrestling); 1993-Bryan Smolinski (hockey); 1992-Anthony Hamm (cross country/track and field); 1991-Steve Smith (basketball); 1990-Kip Miller (hockey) and Percy Snow (football); 1989-Bobby Reynolds (hockey); 1988-Todd Krumm (football/baseball); 1987-Don McSween (hockey); 1986-Mike Donnelly (hockey), Lorenzo White (football), Scott Skiles (basketball); 1985-Sam Vincent (basketball); 1984-Carl Banks (football); 1983-Ron Scott (hockey); 1982-Ron Scott (hockey).